Instructor: Ms. Mitzi McFarland

Class Location: Humanities 206

Days/Time: T/Th 11-12:15p.m

Phone: You may contact me at 678-839-4859 or via email,


Consultation Times:  

° Office hours in Paff. 317:  M/W 8:15-9:30am;

T 8:15-10:30am; Th 12:30-1:45pm

and by appointment

° Writing Center Tutorials: M (10-12pm) and

W (10-11am)




Catalogue Description and Thematic Component:


English 1102 is a composition course focusing on skills required for both effective writing for various rhetorical situations and critical reading of texts. In writing, students must demonstrate competency in argumentation, and writing that is strengthened by the use of multiple textual sources. The texts selected for this section of 1102 raise compelling questions of identity and culture, focusing on the multiple processes, effects, and sites of identity construction which take place in and through writing. We will explore such concepts as the construction of self in narrative, the semiotics of community and culture, the narrating “I,” and the (re)constitution of autonomy, selfhood, and identity in writing. Our readings will provide plentiful opportunities to analyze and articulate expressions of the self in narrative.


Course Rationale and Learning Outcomes 

  1. To read, understand, and interpret a broad range of written and visual texts from a variety of genres (including but not limited to nonfiction, fiction, poetry, drama, and film). 

  2. To understand literary principles and use basic terms important to critical writing and reading.  

  3. To develop skills in all the tools necessary for effective argumentation.  

  4. To develop facility with the whole writing process from invention through revision.  

  5. To understand and employ a variety of rhetorical modes and techniques of persuasion.  

  6. To acquire reasonable mastery of conventions of college-level prose writing.  

  7. To incorporate and document additional textual materials to strengthen and support argument.  

Required Texts (I expect you to purchase these specific works in full during the first week of classes):

·         Dayton, Jonathan and Valerie Faris, directors. Little Miss Sunshine (20th Century Fox). ASIN: B000K7VHQE.

·         Gardner, Janet. Writing About Literature, 2nd ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s). 978-0-312-53752-4.

·         Maimon, Elaine and Janice Peritz, editors. A Writer’s Resource, 3rd ed. (for reference). 978-0-077363581.

·         Packer, ZZ. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (Riverhead Books). 978-0-312-53752-4.

·         Rash, Ron. The World Made Straight (Henry Holt and Co.) 978-0-312-42660-6.

·         Yang, Gene. American Born Chinese (First Second). 978-1-59643-152-2.

·         One zip disc for computer use, a folder for submitting all drafts and essays, dictionary, etc.


Course Requirements & Policies: 


Attendance: Students may be administratively withdrawn from class based on the following attendance policy.  For classes that meet three times a week, a student is allowed four absences. Upon the fifth absence, the student may be withdrawn.  For classes that meet twice a week, a student is allowed three absences.  Upon the fourth absence, the student may be withdrawn.  Be aware that no distinction exists between excused and unexcused absences. Students may be dropped from the class by the instructor for violation of the attendance policy with a grade of W on or before the midpoint of the semester (Friday, October 14th) or with the grade of F or WF following the midpoint of the semester at the instructor’s discretion.


Participation: Because this is a writing- and reading-intensive course, student participation is both essential and mandatory. As much of this class is discussion and workshop oriented, your presence, careful preparation, and active participation are crucial to your success. Students should come to class prepared to contribute to class discussion, listen attentively and critically to others’ comments and questions, respond collegially to others’ views, and generally conduct themselves in a professional manner. I expect you to take your work very seriously, preparing for each class by carefully reading each assignment, reflecting upon that reading, and thinking about the implications of the reading. 

·     Bring ALL required materials to class every day! Students who come to class without the required materials will be dismissed from class. Please understand, the attendance policy also applies with these kinds of dismissals.


Course Writing Component: Writing assignments will be generated by discussions from readings and from personal responses to literary works. Students will develop various essay types with practice also on the writing process and the realization that revision is an essential step. To assist these goals, we will commit ourselves to sharing works-in-progress in various workshops that endeavor to help you learn how to be (1) rigorous yet supportive readers of your peers’ work, and (2) more adept, nuanced, and sophisticated thinkers and writers.  


Essay Format: ALL papers must be in accordance with MLA guidelines, typed and double-spaced. If you submit an essay that does not abide by the MLA guidelines, your grade for that assignment will automatically result in a 10-point deduction. Keep your Writer’s Resource handbook on hand where you can refer back to it when you need it.


Late and/or Make-Up Work Policy:

·     All late essays will be penalized one letter grade per day late and are no longer accepted for a grade past one week of the deadline (unless you make arrangements with me in advance and you have a legitimate medical reason for submitting the work after the deadline). Essays are late when they are not submitted to me at the beginning of class.

·     If you arrive to class late and miss a quiz, or if you miss a quiz or in-class assignment due to an absence, you may not make it up.

·     I do not accept assignments sent to me via email unless approved by me in advance. 


Email Policy: Be aware that an email asking questions about an essay CANNOT replace an actual meeting with me during office hours. It is very difficult to respond to your questions and your needs by only responding to an email, especially if your questions are general. I welcome any email correspondence you wish to have with me; however, this type of correspondence is best used only when you have a very specific question that doesn’t require discussion. Note: The official email communication method will be through campus e-mail (MyUWG). 


Disability Pledge:

·     I pledge to do my best to work with the University to provide all students with equal access to my classes and materials, regardless of special needs, temporary or permanent disability, special needs related to pregnancy, etc.

·     If you have any special learning needs, particularly (but not limited to) needs defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and require specific accommodations, please do not hesitate to make these known to me, either yourself or through Disability Services in 272 Parker Hall at (770) 839-6428.

·     Students with documented special needs may expect accommodation in relation to classroom accessibility, modification of testing, special test administration, etc. This is not only my personal commitment: it is your right, and it is the law!

·     For more information, please contact Disability Services at the State University of West Georgia.


Resources for Writing Instruction: 1) I will gladly assist you in the writing process and with any concerns you may have in the course; 2) The Writer’s Resource; 3) my online website, A Writer’s Archive; 4) the Writing Center, located in the Parkman Room, TLC 1200, is a student support centre designed to offer consultation in which tutors question, respond to, offer choices, and encourage revision in student essays. Tutors do not evaluate or prescribe solutions to problematic areas in student essays, and tutors are specifically trained to avoid appropriating the student’s work. For more information on appointments, hours, and policies, visit the Writing Center online at


Disruptive Behavior Policy: Students may be dismissed from any class meeting at which they exhibit behavior that disrupts the learning environment of others. Such behavior includes – but is not limited to – arriving late for class, allowing cell phones to ring, speaking disrespectfully to the instructor and/or to other students, checking email or surfing the web, and using personal audio or visual devices. Each dismissal of this kind will count as an absence and will be applied toward the attendance policy above. (Department Policy)


Plagiarism and Academic Honesty: All work you turn in for this class (from quizzes, writing prompts, to out-of-class essays) must be your own original work, with all outside reference sources properly cited and acknowledged. The English Department, in adherence with the University’s code for academic honesty, defines plagiarism as “using the words and/or ideas of another without properly giving credit to the source(s)” ( and offers the following descriptive list: submission of material that is wholly or substantially identical to that created or published by another person or persons, without adequate credit notations indicating authorship; “false” attempts at paraphrasing and/or documentation (as in making up sources); substitution for, or unauthorized collaboration with, another individual (excessive collaboration is considered plagiarism). Note well: unintentional plagiarism is plagiarism nonetheless.  


This is a no-tolerance policy, not open to negotiation. If caught and substantiated, plagiarism results in an F for the course and will be reported to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for possible probation or suspension from the University. Click here for the University’s policies for handling Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty: and See also the Preventing Plagiarism link in my website’s “A Writer’s Archive.” 


Course Assessment & Guidelines: 

Note: In order to complete all English 1102 requirements, students must pass with the final letter grade of a C or higher. The last day to withdraw with a W is Friday, October 14th. Make this decision wisely. 

Questions or Concerns:

I am here to make sure you receive a quality education. If ever you have a question, comment, or concern regarding your success in my class, please feel free to use any of the following options:


·           Call and leave a message for me at the office: 678-839-4859

·           Send me an email:

·           Call the English Department’s main office to schedule a conference with me: 678-839-6512.


Please understand that the life of a teacher can sometimes be hectic. Therefore, allow me at least 24 hours to return your email or voicemail. If you do not get a response, please do not give up. Feel free to try back at a later time.